How to Spend More Time Outdoors as a Web Designer
Getting out, out of your cubicle, office, home office, apartment, whatever it is you call your "work area" is one of THE most important aspects of working for yourself. There are about four million reasons, besides not turning into what our society deems a "web designer is" stuck in the basement coding into all hours of the night.
Feel free to live up to that stereotype, I do most days. However, in order to not turn into a crazy entrepreneur who can't deal with client issues, or isn't finding creativity in their daily life, I find the outdoors the best place for us usually tied to a computer to really let go.
1. Find a lunch walking area. Whether you work at an office, in the middle of the city, in the burbs or in the middle of nowhere, there HAS to be somewhere to walk nearby. Even if it's around the block in continuous circles. Unless it is RAINING or SNOWING require yourself to do this walk. I always say I will 'not work at lunch', and yet I always do, or I just write "one email", that turns into an afternoon of emails.
2. Find a Café with outdoor seating. This is where I do most of my branding/strategy sessions. All sitemaps, strategy docs, etc, all get done freehand in a notebook before they go digital. It takes longer to re-do them digitally, but it makes me think a little clearer about the intentions of the product, instead of the Process of creating the document. I love a good outdoor seating area because the wireless RARELY works outside, so there's no accidental internet work happening ;)
3. Find a Farmer's Market Mid Week. This is one of my favorite things. Each Wednesday in the summer my farmer's market has a mini market. Their big vendors come out for a mid-week offering, and it's next to my favorite walking path. I actually park at the end of the walking path, and walk to the market. In order to get there on time, I have to leave before 4pm with driving, parking and walking. It MAKES me leave when I say my office hours end.
4. Take on outdoorsy clients! If you are an outdoorsy person, let that shine in your work! The more clients that fit your ideal niche, the more they are going to want you to have a good understanding of their brand, and therefore are cool with your auto-reply saying you are walking up a mountain that day :)
5. DO find good outdoor wireless. If you can, find some outdoor wireless that is good (alternative to the spot where you have bad outdoor wireless) and stick your laptop down in the shade. Now. Most of this "outdoor wireless" is crap, and probably not suited for any real website building, however there are TONS of things you do as an entrepreneur that can be done with 5mbs up/down. Think: Admin Mondays? Writing Blog Posts? Social Media Planning? Set out a task to get done get outside and don't come back till it's all set!
I hope these tips made you think a bit more creatively about your work, don't feel tied to the computer, get up and get the non-developer work done outdoors!